Vive Le Canada

Big Oil Getting Desperate: Making Oil With Nuclear Energy
Date: Saturday, October 15 2005
Topic:


This is interesting for two things: the global comeback of nuclear energy, and the staggering investments required to develop the Canadian oil sands to produce a relative drop in the bucket of North American consumption. These amazing investments are all on the supply side of the equation, not the refining side like the politicians and mainstream media would have us believe. Companies are not investing in refineries because they know they wont get the investment back. But they will by investing in the supply side- they know its the real issue. Peak Oil is here.



Big Oil Getting Desperate: Making Oil With Nuclear Energy
by Jerome Paris
Thu Sep 22, 2005

<http://salo.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/9/22/183959/686>;

Total May Use Atomic Power At Oil-Sand Project <http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112733531386947686,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace>; (WSJ, behind subscription wall)

PARIS -- French oil giant Total SA, amid rising oil and natural-gas prices, is considering building a nuclear power plant to extract ultraheavy oil from the vast oil-sand fields of western Canada.

This comes as oil prices -- driven even higher by Hurricane Katrina and now the threat of Hurricane Rita -- are removing lingering doubts about the long-term profitability of extracting the molasseslike form of oil from sand, despite the fact that the output is much more expensive to produce and to upgrade than is conventional crude.

At the same time, prices of natural gas -- which oil-sands producers have relied on to produce the steam and electricity needed to push the viscous oil out of the ground -- have risen 45% in the past year. That is prompting Total, which holds permits on large fields in Alberta that contain oil sands, to consider building its own nuclear plant and using the energy produced to get the job done.

In Canada, Total holds half of an oil-sands permit in Alberta and has secured more heavy-oil acreage with the purchase of Deer Creek Energy Ltd., located in the same western province. Total said it plans to invest $7 billion in Deer Creek, on top of the $1.4 billion it expects to pay for the company. The company says it could one day produce 200,000 barrels of heavy crude a day, close to 8% of Total's current global output.

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